Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting two more deaths from COVID-19, while most people getting tested for the virus are waiting more than 48 hours for results.
OPH reported 66 new confirmed cases Thursday, while 72 more cases are now considered resolved, nudging the number of active cases in the city down to 677.
About 60 per cent of the city's latest cases are under the age of 40.
There have been nine COVID-19-related deaths reported in the last five day, bringing the city's death toll to 289.
There have been 4,388 confirmed cases in Ottawa since the pandemic began, the majority — 3,422 — now resolved.
More testing is being performed now than during the pandemic's first wave in the spring, but public health officials are asking only those who fit certain criteria, including having symptoms, to get tested.
OPH says most people are waiting more than 48 hours for a test result, with only nine per cent receiving their results within 24 hours, down from 13 per cent on Wednesday. Provincewide, the backlog of tests waiting to be processed has hit a record high.
Those people must self-isolate while waiting for their test result or face a court date and fine of up to $5,000.
Other categories stable
Seventeen patients are currently being treated for COVID-19 in hospital, down from 19 on Wednesday. That number is settling in the high teens after three months sitting at around 10, with hospital capacity a concern if the coronavirus keeps spreading widely.
Three of those people in hospital are in intensive care. That number has been stable for nearly two weeks.
OPH isn't reporting any additional outbreaks at schools. Outbreaks have been declared at nine schools, while 75 have had at least one student or staff member test positive.
On Wednesday, Ottawa's medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches urged residents to limit their close contacts to members of their household plus one or two essential people, such as caregivers. That includes going out to restaurants, she said, warning that if the "alarming" increase in cases isn't halted, the second wave of the pandemic could close schools and businesses, and overwhelm the health-care system.
The reports from OPH don't necessarily reflect how many people tested positive for COVID-19 on the day they're made public; rather, they indicate the number of new cases OPH is notified of as of 2 p.m. the previous day.